Thursday, May 29, 2008

Netflix Delay

Netflix got my movie on Tuesday, May 27th, but decided to wait until Wednesday the 28th to send the next movie, despite having 2 movies that are available NOW at the top of my queue.

Monday, May 26, 2008


Nominated for Best Picture, but not winning, Juno is about a young high school girl who gets pregnant and decides to put her baby up for adoption - a most admirable gesture in my opinion.

The potty mouthed Juno, played by Ellen Page, informs her father and step-mother that she got pregnant by Paulie Bleaker (Michael Cera), one of the runners on the cross country team. He's not exactly who you would expect to get a girl pregnant in high school. He's a better candidate to be one of the people that I hung out with (was I really that nerdy???)

In giving her baby up for adoption, Juno goes out to find the perfect parents. He meets Mark and Venessa Loring (Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner). They have that querky relationship - you know, the kind where she's a freak about everything and seems to be in charge despite her own failures and neurosis.

Just when everything seems to be perfect, Mark changes the plans and leaves Juno in distress. Now shee needs to decide if she will still allow Venessa to adopt the baby or find new parents.

The movie is very comical. There's lot's of bad words, some adult situations, like the abortion center scene, but nothing too bad. We all knew a girl like Juno and a boy like Paulie. And we now all know a woman like Venessa and a guy like Mark. It is very easy to relate to this movie.

Overall, I give this movie 4 stars. I could easily see myself watching it again. It's only 92 minutes long, so if you put your kids to bed at 9pm, you'll be in bed before the 1o o'clock news is over on Channel 45. This movie lost out to No Country For Old Men, a movie that forgot to include the ending. I think this movie would have been a better choice for the award.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Apocalypse Now

I borrowed Apocalypse Now from a friend. This is the 1979 Viet-Nam classic that stars the who's-who of the 1970's and 80's cinema.

Per typical Francis Ford Copula-style, this is not your average Viet-Nam war movie. When we think of Viet-Nam movies, we now think of Full Metal Jacket, Hamburger Hill, and Platoon. This movie is more about being set in Viet-Nam during the war and less about the war.

The movie stars Martin Sheen as Captain Benjamin Willard, who could easily be confused as a young Charlie Sheen, but not a young Emilio Estevez. He is a soldier who specializes in secret missions. He won't even tell the general which missions he was on. Or, in the words of scientology's craziest psychopath - Tom Cruise, he could tell you, but then he'd have to kill you.

Sheen is sent on a mission up a river into Cambodia (but that's a secret). He's going to use extreme prejudice and eliminate the unstable Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando). He's holding out in Cambodia with some sort of native dope smoking love camp. And we all know that the government needs to eliminate dope smoking love camps.

The majority of the movie focuses on Sheen's daydreams and the ride up the river. Along the way he runs into the irascible surf-nut Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore, played by Robert Duvall, where you see the infamous Ride of the Vulcary attack on the river village. If you know anything about this movie, then you know the quote, "I love the smell of napalm in the morning." This is Lieutenant Colonel Kilgore at his finest moment. This is right before he sent some soldiers out on surf boards to check out the waves - this during a firefight.

Also making appearances in the movie are Harrison Ford, Laurence Fishburn, Frederic Forrest, Dennis Hopper (at least he wasn't selling retirement services on the beach this time), and R. Lee Ermey (gunny from Mail Call and Full Metal Jacket).

Overall, the movie is very artistic and less action-oriented as I seem to recall. The audience is supposed to be intrigued by the thoughts and pains of Captain Willard. Light is an important element along with extended sections of hypnotising music and sounds. You can interpret this to mean that they will play songs by The Doors. This would explain why Apocalypse Now also earned 2 Oscars, one for Best Sound and the other for Best Cinemotography, though different from my version of cinematography. I watched this movie when I was in my early teens and thought it was pretty cool. I am assuming I thought it was cool because of all the gunship fighting and the potty mouth. Being less in tune with the intended deepness of the movie gave me a different interpretation of the movie then than what I get now.

That being said, I think I would prefer to stick with my teenage impression of the movie. I'm less inclined to like artistic movies, unless, of course, there's good cinematography.

Apocalypse Now is rated R for violence, lots of it, profanity, lots of it, and adult situations. The movie three days long, though only 153 minutes if you watch it straight through to the end, a formidable task indeed.

I gave Apocalypse Now 4 stars. The movie had a great impact on moviedom and starting giving the audience a different view of what it was like in Viet-Nam. I believe it spawned other movies like the ones mentioned earlier. Though some may say that The Deer Hunter inspired Apocalypse Now. You should watch this movie not so much because it's a good movie, but because it is a part of Americana.

Margot at the Wedding

Have you ever been on that hike where you know you are lost and you keep walking and walking? You walk for what seems forever, but you can never figure out where you are. Hours must have passed, and still no familiar sites, no distictive landmarks. You may even be walkin in circles. You look at your watch and much to your surprise, you have only been walking for 20 minutes.

Having given up, but wanted to get return home, you start walking in the other direction. This time, you know you've walked for at least another hour. But when you look at your watch, it's only been another 20 minutes. How can this be? How can time pass so slow?

If you've ever experienced this walk either in real life or in a dream, then you've also watched Margot at the Wedding. This movie is proof that the cast of stars does not make a movie. I love me a movie with Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Jason Leigh, best known for playing Stacy in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, for obvious reasons. I like Jack Black, but for other reasons. Yet, this movie just didn't cut it.

Nicole Kidman plays Margot, a mother of a what I thought was a young girl named Claude (short for Claudia???). Her sister Pauline (Leigh) is getting married to dumbass Malcolm (Black). Margot and Pauline have not gotten along for years, so this reunion is a little awkward.

Margot is the psychiatrist-visiting mental case, whereas Pauline is the drug-taking unstable mental case. And Malcolm is just a lunatic - crazy ideas, violent outbursts, spontaneous cursing, and, believe it or not, a reckless relationship with another woman.

Margot tries to talk Pauline out of getting married to Malcolm. Margot's son (that came out of nowhere) is attacked for being a fruitcake. The neighbors kill a pig. A tree falls on the wedding tent. Pauline leaves Malcolm. Pauline poops her panties. Everyone leaves. Margot's son is put on a bus, only to have Margot come chasing after him. End of movie.

Yeah. Just weird.

The movie is rated R for adult situations, Kidman's masterbation attempt, Jennifer Jason Leigh walking around the bedroom with her boobs hanging out, Malcolm's constant profantiy, some child homosexuality, and a beat-down. This is one of the few Kidman movies in which she doesn't show some naked part of her body, though I am fine with that. She's still very attractive. The movie is 92 imnutes long, but it takes about 3 hours of your mental capacity away from you.

Overall I give this movie 2 stars. The movie went nowhere and took too long to get there. If it weren't for the boobies and the self-pleasuring, I would have rather eaten a pillow case. Don't waste your time watching this movie unless you have some guilty pleasures that you need to satisfy.

Friday, May 9, 2008

27 Dresses

I must add romantic comedies to my Netflix queue as they become available so that my wife doesn't think that I am totally dominating the queue (which I really am). When I saw 27 Dresses was going to be released, I immediately pushed it to the top of the queue.

This movie stars Katherine Heigl (Knocked Up & Grey's Anatomy) as the perpetual bridesmaid ("always a bridesmaid and never a bride", a phrase coined by Listerine mouthwash - go figure!).

She's been in 27 weddings all featuring horrible bridesmaid dresses. At one wedding she runs into Kevin James Marsden - Enchanted, Hairspray, X-Men) who comes off as this sarcastic jerk. He criticizes her can't say no attitude and belittles the entire thought of marriage. Problem is - she know's he's right.

Then there's the other problem. She's in love with her boss. It gets worse when her younger sister Tess (Malin Akerman, who's been is such hits as Twice in a Lifetime, Relic Hunter, and The Skulls - yikes!) moves in with her and starts dating her boss under a veil of lies to win his love.

Cat fights break out throughout the movie and Heigl cannot seem to shake the obnoxious Kevin, whom she has a slight fascination for. Her love turns to hatred when she finds out he's the famous wedding editor for the newspaper and he rips her to shreds in his latest article.

27 Dresses is a decent romantic comedy. I actually got in some pretty good laughs. Like good rom/com's, it is only an hour and a half long. It is rated PG-13, though I cannot seem to recall why. Perhaps they dropped a bad word. Innuendo?

Overall, I liked this movie and would watch it again. I give it 4 stars. Though predictable, it's a good laugh.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Netlfix - throttling

Netflix decided today that I have seen too many movies recently. This morning they got Over My Dead Body, which I returned yesterday. At the top of my queue is American Gangster. There's absolutely no wait for this movie. However, they feel that they can't walk over to the A's section of the movies, pull it out of the box, and send it to me.

And it's not like they're trying to push me back from some great new releases for Monday. The only new release that I have is Mad Money, and that looks like it will suck. Queen Latifah's in it. How good could it be? It will consist of her getting an attitude and raising her voice and wagging her finger at people.
My Zimbio